The Chambers Staff Training Fund (CSTF) is a centrally-held source of funding provided to the courts in the amount of $400 per chambers staff member. (Example: Judge + Judicial Assistant + 2 Law Clerks = $1,600.) Each court determines how it will utilize the funds. A court may choose to split the fund evenly among the staff members, or a court may use the entirety of their portion of the fund on just a few staff members. The CSTF may be used for any managerial, operational, or administrative training, but cannot be used on legal training. The training may be from a public- or private-sector provider (i.e., outside of the training provided by the AO, FJC, or other government source).
While attendance at an association meeting is not normally covered, the Chief Judge of your district has the authority to approve use of the CSTF for our FJAA conference under one of several exemptions, specifically: essential to carry out an official function; in the best interests of the judiciary and not primarily for the convenience or personal gain of the employee; cost effective; and/or not available locally through traditional workshops or electronic medium.
Assuming your court agrees with one of the exemptions, this fund is available for use by Judicial Assistants to pay for travel and training held in conjunction with private association meetings like the FJAA Annual Education Conference. Some districts "pool" the training funds and permit Judicial Assistants to apply for the funding to cover the cost of their travel, hotel, registration, or per diem. Other districts allot an equal amount to each Judicial Assistant attending a conference.
The funds do not "roll over." If not used in one year, those funds do not accumulate to the next year. Members of the clerk's office are not eligible to use this funding for training.
Traditionally, the CSTF is underutilized by chambers staff. Please take time to educate yourself and your judges about the CSTF as the funding is available for your use.